Time to try… Strength Theory
I’ve been chugging away with my own split for a while now, and I’m extremely happy with the exercise choice and the progress I feel that I’m making. Even when I have certain lifts that seem to plateau, my squat seems to have been getting continuously stronger. I don’t have a ton to complain about really, but I’ve been following a pretty loose plan in terms of percentages on my lifts. I feel that I’m missing out on more progress because of this.
I decided to set out and check some information from popular people in the fitness industry, and just so happened to end up stopping after the first one I checked out. From following Mark Bell on Instagram, I had heard of Omar Isuf and always found his stuff pretty interesting. He’s a guy that doesn’t look comic-book big or comic-book strong… but he’s certainly jacked and he’s definitely strong as shit. When I see people that actually seem real and seem to have some method to their madness, it makes it easier for me to get on board with that they’re preaching… So I decided to check out Strength Theory.
I’m not going to go into all the details of strength theory because I’d strongly urge you to go to Omar’s site and follow through his marketing campaign to support him… Besides, it’s free unless you want to pay for some extras. The basis of it is that there are 28 program variations and you’re able to pick and choose things to create your own split. It’s broken into squat, bench and deadlift (coincidence?!) and has a breakdown for each depending on your level of expertise and training frequency. This was really appealing to me because it meant I could customize the plan to be what I want versus using some cookie cutter and hoping it’s something I’ll enjoy.
So, with that all said… What did I end up with? I’m actually going to keep my training split the exact same. I’m picking the plan for squatting three times a week, but I’m going to end up squatting every other day. I’ll also include the two times per week bench and deadlift programs. This means I’ll actually end up squatting four times in eight days, benching twice in eight days, and deadlifting twice in eight days. Eight days is also pretty close to one week, so it kind of lines up. Do I feel like I’m frankensteining his program? Sure, maybe a bit. But I also don’t plan to blame him if I don’t see the progress I want. I’m making these decisions because I WANT these training frequencies and I really want to leverage the percentage breakdowns that Omar provides.
I’ve done a couple days of this now, and it’s awesome because I don’t feel like I’m following some new magical plan… I feel like I’m taking my existing plan and layering on some new components and structure based on the Strength Theory plans. It’s still absolutely enjoyable and it’s interesting to see how close I was to following Omar’s plan while coming up with it on my own.
What Else Is Up?
I’m still trying to follow an IIFYM plan, and I’ve been going strong for a month or so. I’m still not having problems making meals to match my macros, but I’m lucky because I don’t mind eating the same thing every day. I get some flexibility in choosing the foods I eat, so I have a couple of things every week that aren’t your typical healthy food (i.e. bacon or chicken fingers) but it’s a great way for me to feel like a normal human being while still staying consistent.
Over the past few weeks, my weight hasn’t fluctuated much at all (basically between 150-155 lbs) and I’ve been consistent with the macro breakdown. With that said, I’ve just started adding an extra 300 calories per day to see where that gets me. I personally feel that I’ve leaned out a tiny bit so far, but I’m actually more interested in getting bigger/stronger than leaner right now. The extra 300 calories are all coming from additional carbs, so my rice intake is getting a bit silly now.
I’ll try this out for a few weeks and if there’s still no change… More carbs.